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Samsung chief hits back at siblings over inheritance suit

Lee Kun-hee

Publication Date : 25-04-2012


Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee counter-attacked his siblings who had described him as a greedy man ahead of a court duel over inheritance.

Meeting reporters at the company’s office in southern Seoul on Tuesday, Lee said his older brother Lee Maeng-hee is a “figure that was ousted in our family”.

The chief of the country’s largest conglomerate also said no one in his family considered Lee Maeng-hee to be the eldest son of the late Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull. As proof, Lee Maeng-hee has not attended any of his father’s memorial ceremonies, the chairman added.

Lee Kun-hee’s harsh comments came a day after the older brother publicly criticised him, saying his younger brother’s greed had ignited the inheritance suit.

Calling him by his first name, Kun-hee, an apparent gesture aimed at belittling him, the elder Lee also said that his younger brother was at the centre of family discord.

But the chairman countered the claims, saying “It is (Lee Maeng-hee) that filed a complaint against me with the military and threatened to put my father in jail about 30 years ago. He actually made accusations against my father and reported them to then-President Park Chung-hee,” said Lee Kun-hee. “My father had declared Maeng-hee was not his son.”

The Samsung chief also strongly criticised his older sister Lee Sook-hee, who made harsh comments about him on Monday.

The chairman said that she used to be “one of my father’s most loved daughters before her marriage".

“But she received a lot of criticism after getting married to one belonging to the Gold Star (now LG) family because both families were in the electronics businesses. She used to come home and ask for the impossible (for the in-law family).”

He also said his father was enraged by her actions, elaborating that she was not eligible for any Samsung stock as a result.

“That was the end of it,” Lee said.

On February 12, Lee Maeng-hee filed an inheritance suit against the Samsung chairman at the Seoul Central District Court. Soon after, some other family members, including Lee Sook-hee, took similar actions against him.


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